OSHA Fines Pennsylvania Recycler

Proposed fines for Vortex Recycling total $58,000.

November 6, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has fined Vortex Recycling Inc., an oil filter recycling facility in New Castle, Pa., for one repeat, 25 serious and one other-than-serious violations of safety and health standards. The fine follows OSHA’s inspection of Vortex’ facility in response to a complaint. OSHA has proposed a penalty of $58,000.
According to OSHA, the repeat violation involves the company failing to remove defective or unsafe industrial trucks from service. The citation carries a $5,600 fine. 
A repeat violation exists when an employer previously has been cited for the same or a similar violation of a standard, regulation, rule or order at any other facility in federal enforcement states within the last five years. The company was cited for a similar violation in 2008.
OSHA says the serious violations include a variety of fall, electrical and struck-by hazards; using equipment that is improperly installed, identified and located; improperly maintaining emergency eyewash stations, shower facilities and portable fire extinguishers; having unguarded machinery; crane deficiencies; a lack of proper housekeeping procedures for areas around plant equipment; and failing to develop programs for energy control, hearing conservation, permit-required confined spaces and hazard communication. These citations carry $51,700 in penalties. 
A serious violation occurs when there is substantial probability that death or serious physical harm could result from a hazard about which the employer know or should have known.
The other-than-serious violation is for unsanitary eating areas, according to OSHA. The citation carries a $700 penalty. 
An other-than-serious violation is one that has a direct relationship to job safety and health but probably would not cause death or serious physical harm.
The company has 15 business days from receipt of the citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with the OSHA area director or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.